Since 2005, “The Samoan Submission Machine” Samoa Joe has proven how athletic a big man can be in professional wrestling. On the September 27th episode of IMPACT WRESTLING, Joe further cemented his legacy as a dominant superstar by taking the vacant TNA Television Championship. The win brought the crowd to their feet on “Championship Thursday,” but diehard TNA fans know that the victory secured Joe a place in the record books as only the third superstar in company history to earn the Championship Grand Slam.
The Grand Slam represents an entire career of achievement: patience, athleticism, and total dedication to the sport are paramount. Not to mention longevity, especially in a sport as physically demanding as wrestling. There are no off-seasons to rest and recuperate, no timeouts, and certainly no pity, which makes Joe’s Grand Slam so special.
Samoa Joe joins fellow TNA greats “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles and the “Monster” Abyss as the only men to achieve all four championships: TNA World Heavyweight, Tag Team, X Division, and Television Championships. Kurt Angle also held all three major TNA titles prior to the introduction of the Television Championship. Think you can remember the first times Joe raised each Championship?
With the ink still drying on his first TNA contract, Samoa Joe took his undefeated streak into “Turning Point” on December 11, 2005 against, ironically enough, AJ Styles with the TNA X Division title at stake. The win gave Joe his first TNA title, but it would be nearly two more years before he won his second.
At 2007’s “Victory Road,” Joe competed in the “Match of Champions” with Kurt Angle against Team 3D for the Tag Team Championship. Despite their brooding conflict with each other, Joe and Angle won the match when Joe pinned Devon; but because it was a “Match of Champions,” Joe opted to hold the Tag Team Title alone and choose a new partner. As the reigning X Division Champion, too, the second title made Samoa Joe the first TNA wrestler to hold multiple titles at once.
Less than a year later at “Lockdown,” Samoa Joe met Angle in the steel cage, but this time with the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on the line. The two tacticians exchanged submission holds until Joe planted Angle with a “Musclebuster” to win TNA’s greatest prize, an honor that he would defend until “Bound for Glory” 2008 against Sting.
And now, four years after becoming a “Triple Crown Winner,” Samoa Joe finally captured that elusive Television Championship to complete the TNA Grand Slam. Would Angle now consider battling Joe for the Television title to regain his “Grand Slam” status? Do you have a favorite Samoa Joe memory? Let us know @impactwrestling as we take one more step toward toward “Bound for Glory” on October 14th, live from Phoenix!